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Why Some Doctors Hate the Word Provider


Many physicians don't like being called a provider. In this podcast, one advocate for doctors explains the problem with that word.

For many doctors, the word "provider" is frustrating and belittling, according to Marni Jameson, executive director of the Association of Independent Doctors, a non-profit advocacy group.

Jameson recently spoke with Physicians Practice managing editor, Gabriel Perna, for a podcast interview on why some doctors do not like to be called a provider. She says t

he use of that term is another attempt by outside forces - i.e. insurance companies and government stakeholders - to dilute physician authority and demean their profession.

"They went to a lot of school - 8-to-12 years of college and beyond, residencies, fellowships, and specialty training. They are MDs and they are doctors. They need to have that respect shown them. It gets watered down when they are lumped in with PAs and RNs and LVNs, nurse assistants [and] nurse practitioners. They are very much needed in the medical profession, but there needs to be a line that divides doctors from the rest of the profession," Jameson says, adding that when the word provider is used to describe physicians, "it makes them feel demoted."

Jameson says she can speak out on this issue, whereas many doctors choose to stay silent because they don't want to be seen as having an ego. "It's not about that at all," she says.

The entire podcast can be listened to above.

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